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Yemeni S/V Quest pirate sentenced to life for killing four

S/V Quest

A Yemeni man received a life sentence for acts of piracy against the S/V Quest, that claimed the lives of four Americans travelling on the vessel off the east coast of Africa last February.

Mounir Ali, 23, of Yemen, was sentenced on Oct. 21 in a Norfolk, VA federal courtroom to life in prison for piracy against the S/V Quest, resulting in the murder of  Scott Underwood Adam, Jean Savage Adam, Phyllis Patricia Macay, and Robert Campbell Riggle, all U.S. citizens. Ali had pleaded guilty to the piracy charge last July. He is the seventh of 11 defendants that pled guilty to the S/V piracy charges to be sentenced.

“Despite being a victim of piracy himself, Mr. Ali voluntarily joined his captors to attack and hold four Americans hostage for ransom,” said Neil MacBride, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, in a statement. “The greed for ransom money ultimately led to the cold-blooded murder of the hostages. Pirates who attack U.S. citizens on the high seas—whether successful or not, whether violent or not—must get the message that they will face lifelong consequences for their actions.”

Court documents said Ali was one of 14 defendants charged together with the S/V Quest piracy in February 2011. He had had been the victim of piracy himself, however. Ali was only Yemeni in the crew of another boat that was hijacked by a separate group of pirates some months earlier, said the FBI in an Oct. 21 statement. Ali had been taken on at least two piracy outings in his captured ship, it said. On the second outing, he was with other pirates when the Yemeni fishing boat  -  used as a mothership for the Quest hijacking  -  was captured, said the documents. Ali transferred to the Yemeni fishing boat and then chose to go with the pirates when they located the Quest in exchange for a share of the ransom, said the documents.


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